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March 08, 2007

Smart, MediaQuest give Philippine TV a “new face”

I’m posting the title and the full body of the Press Release sent to me by one of Smart’s PR people. Will be having lunch with them next week so if you have specific questions you’d like me to throw their way, just leave a comment.

*** PR starts ***

Starting March 11, Filipino viewers can begin to enjoy watching their favorite TV programs anywhere, anytime on mobile phones.

Now under test broadcast, the new mobile TV service is being offered by MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. in cooperation with cellular operator Smart Communications, Inc.

The service is being broadcast using the mobile TV platform called Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld or DVB-H for short.

Initially available in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, the test broadcast service offers nine channels including 24-hour news channels CNN, BBC World and CNBC, a sports channel Basketball TV, leisure and entertainment channels such as Jack TV and Fashion TV, and music channel MTV.

To access the service, a Smart or Talk N Text subscriber must use a DVB-H enabled handset. The service will initially be available to a few trial participants during the test period.

“Mobile TV offers television in ways that is both comfortably familiar and excitingly novel,” said MediaQuest President and CEO Orlando Vea.

“Our goal is to introduce an exciting new dimension to television viewing in the Philippines. We are giving TV a new face – that of the mobile handset,“ Smart President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno said.

“People can watch the programs they love on conventional TV. The difference is they can do this on the go, wherever they are, whenever they need or want to watch the program,” he explained.

“Later on, they will enjoy new types of TV shows designed especially for viewing on the screens of mobile phones,” Vea added.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, MediaQuest Holdings Inc. has interests in various media-related ventures, including a controlling interest in Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which operates a network of radio and TV stations; a minority interest in cable TV company Sky Cable; and a 30% interest in business daily BusinessWorld.

NBC will provide the broadcast service while Smart will provide the marketing and infrastructure support of its mobile phone service.

Once commercial operations commence later this year, the service will be available to all Smart and Talk N Text subscribers either on a post-paid or pre-paid basis.

The new mobile TV service differs from (video streaming and video-downloads) services currently offered through 3G networks. 3G allows video streaming for example, that delivers video content to individual phone users using the cellular network.

Mobile TV in contrast is not transmitted through the cellular network. It is a broadcast service that delivers content to many viewers simultaneously through a digital TV broadcast signal optimized for mobile devices – very much like the way a conventional TV service delivers a TV signal to homes.

Programs on Mobile TV can be viewed simultaneously by an unlimited number of subscribers, making it the ideal medium for real-time sports events, breaking news or live entertainment.

Mobile TV trials are taking place in Europe, Australia and Asia. A few have launched commercial services. Consumer studies from these initial services show that people use mobile TV to monitor breaking news, keep abreast of their favorite sports events and soap operas, and to fill dead time during long commutes, while stuck in traffic or waiting in line.

In a recent report, research firm Informa Telecoms and Media forecasts that worldwide revenues from mobile TV and video services will rise from $2.46 billion in 2006 to $8.35 billion in 2011. A study by IMS Research published in August 2006 says nearly half a billion people will be watching TV on their mobile phones by the end of 2011.

*** PR ends ***

We’ve already discussed this development here and here yesterday in some detail so we’ll just let it simmer. Me, I’m all for new technology.


10 Responses to “Smart, MediaQuest give Philippine TV a “new face””

  1. Mike Abundo
    Twitter: MikeAbundo
    says:

    Here’s a question: why?

  2. Dusty says:

    Simple …… BRAGGING RIGHTS!

  3. jayvee f. says:

    i agree with mike.

  4. ibm_2100 says:

    This simply is not a smart decision (pun intended). The majority of Filipinos can’t even afford an MMS-enabled cellphone. They even languish to have their relatives make a load transfer to them.

    Watching TV in a short span of time (for leisure or just to kill time) is way, way cool. It’s going to be fun, isn’t it? The Long Tail that must exist to make this offering viable is simply not there, at least, in the Philippines. Plus, the steep prices of mobile TV-enabled phones prohibits the cost-conscious Filipinos from adopting it.

  5. If One The Richest man donates laptop to all teachers in Binangonan Elementary School,you will be blessed more.just try…Binangonan Rizal

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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